Chopard Commits to 100% Ethical Gold.

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Chopard announced in July of 2018 the use of 100% Ethical Gold in its jewelry and watches.

Chopard leads the watch and jewelry industry with a major and unique announcement: since July 2018, Chopard is using 100% Ethical Gold in its jewelry and watch creations.

As a family run business, sustainability has always been a core value, and now sees the culmination of a vision started more than 30 years ago.

Long term supporters and friends of Chopard; Colin and Livia Firth, Julianne Moore, models and activists Arizona Muse and Noella Coursaris and Chinese singer Roy Wang came to champion the gold landmark announcement, made by Chopard Co-Presidents Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, in front of a packed audience at Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Fair. Speaking at the event, the Co-Presidents outlined how they were able to achieve this milestone.

Chopard Ethical Gold

Chopard defines “Ethical Gold” as gold acquired from responsible sources, verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards.

From July, 2018 Chopard gold is responsibly sourced from one of two traceable routes:

  1. Artisanal freshly mined gold from small-scale mines participating in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fairmined and Fairtrade schemes.

  2. RJC Chain of Custody gold, through Chopard’s partnership with RJC-certified refineries.

In order to further increase its contribution in artisanal gold miners’ improvement initiatives and therefore contribute to a further growth of volumes of ethically extracted gold, Chopard joined SBGA (Swiss Better Gold Association) in 2017. Speaking at the press conference Karl Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard said: "We are incredibly proud of being able to say that from July 2018 all of our gold will be purchased from responsible sources”.

Chopard’s vision is to increase, as much as it possibly can, the proportion of artisanal gold the Maison buys as it becomes more available on the market. Today Chopard is the largest buyer of Fairmined gold. “It is a bold commitment, but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible.”

“We have been able to achieve this because more than 30 years ago, we developed a vertically integrated in house production, and invested in mastering all crafts internally, from creating a rare in-house gold foundry as early as 1978, to the skills of high jewelry artisans and expert watchmakers.” Chopard watches and jewelry are beautifully crafted in-house, this means the Maison is in the unique position to be able to guarantee control of all processes; from manufacturing to final product, therefore controlling the gold used in its products.

Continuing the conversation Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Creative Director of Chopard said: “As a family run business, ethics have always been an important part of our family's philosophy. Naturally, we have always put ethics at the heart of the values of Chopard.

“True luxury comes only when you know the handprint of your supply chain and I am very proud of our gold sourcing program. As Creative Director of the brand, I am so proud to share the stories behind each beautiful piece to our customers and know they will wear these stories with pride”.

As part of Chopard’s commitment to ethical gold, new High Jewelry Green Carpet Collection pieces presented at Baselworld are exclusively made from Fairmined gold, as well as the High Horlogery L.U.C Full Strike watch and the Happy Palm watch.

In 2013 Chopard took the long term decision to directly invest in artisanal gold, to bring more artisanal gold to the market.

By providing financial and technical resources in partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Chopard is directly responsible for a number of small scale mines achieveing Fairmined certification. This then allows the small scale mining communities to sell their gold at a premium price while ensuring mining is undertaken in line with strict environmental and social conditions. Chopard also helped establish new trade routes from the mines they source from in South America, bringing traceable products into Europe and providing further financial income into local communities.

Today, Chopard is proud to announce that the Maison has joined forces with ARM to support and enable a new artisanal mine to reach Fairmined certification – CASMA, located in Ancash (Peru) – which will provide training, social welfare and environmental support. To date, several mines in Latin America including Cooperativa Multiactiva Agrominera de Iquira and Coodmilla Mining Cooperative in Colombia have now achieved Fairmined certification through Chopard’s direct support. By investing alongside ARM in the formalization of mining organisations and their communities Chopard creates hope for these forgotten communities on the margins of society and helps them make a legitimate and dignified living.

The UN Global Goals: Chopard’s next step.

This announcement also marked the next phase of Chopard’s sustainability program

– The Journey to Sustainable Luxury – as the luxury watch and jewelry house unveiled its alignment with the UN Global Goals.

As a responsible company, Chopard wanted to go above and beyond compliance and measure how the Maison can contribute to the achievement of the ambitious and much needed UN Global Goals; including contributing to decent work, reduce inequality and responsible resource consumption.

Ethics Meet Aesthetics

The Journey to Sustainable Luxury has been paved with important milestones starting with the launch of the Green Carpet Collection supported by Eco-Age in May 2013 at the Cannes Film Festival. This was the first glamorous step to turn the red carpet green. A year later, Chopard cast a new spell on the French Riviera with the beauty of the first ever Palme d’Or crafted from Fairmined gold.

In March 2014, Chopard introduced at Baselworld with the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined, a high horological timepiece made of Fairmined gold. Along the Maison’s responsible journey, a new partnership with Swiss gold refinery company PX Précinox SA was announced in 2015, establishing the first commercial export route for Fairmined Gold from Bolivia. In 2016, Chopard took its engagements to the next level with the creation of a unique partnership with Gemfields. All these steps opened the way to today’s 100% ethical gold commitment.

Speaking about the importance of business commitments to achieve the UN Global Goals, Livia Firth said: “Today, thanks to The Global Goals, we have a 17 point plan laying out social and natural capital goals – and no one should be exempt from these. Connecting citizens with what has been called one of the most critical initiatives of our times is absolutely essential and exciting, if we wish to see a path to a more sustainable and just future. It is exciting to have Chopard share this vision and at Eco-Age we look forward to working with them to achieve this.”

Following the announcement, a panel was hosted by Imran Amed, Founder and Editor in Chief of Business of Fashion, the panel discussed how by aligning with The Global Goals, businesses can help future-proof themselves, create value throughout their supply chains and quantifiably demonstrate how they are helping contribute towards the 2030 aims for a better world.

Via Chopard & Eco-Age